Rays sign Bobby Wilson, Corey Brown and Eugenio Velez

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The Rays announced this afternoon that they have signed catcher Bobby Wilson, outfielder Corey Brown and infielder/outfielder Eugenio Velez to minor league contracts. All three players received invitations to major league spring training, but figure to serve as minor league depth in 2015.

Wilson, who turns 32 in April, appeared in two games with the Diamondbacks this past season and spent most of the year in Triple-A. Best known for his time with the Angels, he owns a lowly .209/.271/.321 batting line over 193 games in the majors.

Brown, 29, played in three games with the Red Sox in 2014 and logged one plate appearance. Originally drafted by the Athletics as a supplemental first-round pick in 2007, he came over to the Nationals in the Josh Willingham trade in 2010 and appeared in 36 games with the club from 2011-2013.

Velez hasn’t played in the majors since 2011 as a member of the Dodgers. Now 32 years old, he batted .309/.363/.441 with seven home runs, 51 RBI, and 27 stolen bases over 116 games this past season with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate.

Madison Bumgarner is reportedly asking for a nine-figure deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that free agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner is asking for a nine-figure deal.

Your first impression of that may be “what? how?” A lot of that, however, is probably bound up in your understandable feeling that Bumgarner is too old to get that kind of scratch. But then you remember that, oh wait, he’s somehow still only 30 years-old. Indeed, he’s only ten months older than Zack Wheeler, who just nabbed a five-year, $118 million deal from Philly.

Bumgarner, obviously, has much more mileage on the odometer than Wheeler does, and he’s not the ace he was a few years ago, but he’s coming off a fine year, having put up a solid 3.90 ERA and 203/43 K/BB ratio over 207.2 innings in 2019. He would be a fine addition to the top — or at last near the top — of a contender’s rotation.

The White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Reds, Braves, Padres, and Yankees have all been mentioned among possible landing spots. Figure his market to heat up a good bit once Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg sign and some of those contenders start looking for fallback options.